Compo Tech PLUS, spol. s r.o.(CompoTech) is participating in the JEC Composites Connect 2021 online trade show, which runs from June 1-2. The CompoTech digital booth will be showcasing the latest lightweight composite process technologies that can be automated for application across a range of industries. Virtual show visitors can find out about CompoTech’s innovative integrated loop joining technology (ILT) to seamlessly join structural carbon fibre epoxy composite components in one automated step. Also available is their latest product catalogues, which include key properties data for the standard range of square and round carbon fibre (CF) epoxy composite beams that can replace steel and aluminium.
One of CompoTech’s more recent R & D innovations has been the development of its integrated loop technology (ILT), incorporated into CompoTech’s in-house automated, one step, seamless joint manufacturing process for producing CF epoxy composites components. Carbon fibres are used with a wet epoxy resin winding process that utilises CompoTech’s Robot-assisted filament laying (RAFL) proprietary system.
The ILT joining process uses specially designed tooling, which is predominantly 3D printed in-house; by using customised ILT tooling, fully integrated joint holes with no breaks in the carbon fibres can be consistently produced. The ILT process eliminates the need for moulding heavier wall thickness sections around a fixture area and for any post mould drilling, opening up new design options and offering manufacturers a more cost-effective way to produce lightweight FRP composite components.
To support this joining process technology development, recent investments have been made in a new, custom-designed, robot assisted filament placement machine for ILT, plus a new CNC lathe to enhance tooling production and for automated precision machining of a wide variety of components, including larger square beams in carbon, steel or aluminium. The new in-house produced filament placing machine will be fully operational by autumn 2021.
While the company is known for composite solution engineering, CompoTech’s standard catalogues show the wide variety and type of square and tubular structures that can be produced, which can be adjusted to suit bespoke needs. New CF epoxy square beam and tube designs and sizes have been recently added to meet growing demand from manufacturers of automated robot lines, handling equipment and machine systems. The latest range includes new internally supported CF composites beams specially designed for dynamic machine gantry applications.
Standard square beams, produced from graphite and PAN carbon fibres using CompoTech’s innovative automated, robot assisted filament placement technique have 10-15% higher axial direction stiffness and up to 50% greater bending strength compared to an equivalent size conventional filament wound beam. CompoTech offers various square beam designs, which includes ‘bolt together’ connector beams with hollow corners and beams with reinforced corners, as detailed with diagrams in the catalogue. Standard square beam lengths vary from between 2.3 – 5.0 metres depending on the size, which ranges from 60 sq. mm x 5mm wall thickness, up to 200 sq. mm x 8mm.
CompoTech’s CF epoxy round tubes are manufactured using PAN carbon fibres. Standard CF tubes are between 3.6 - 7.8 metres long depending on the inside diameter, which ranges from 10mm x 2mm wall thickness up to 428mm x 4mm.
The outstanding properties of CompoTech’s carbon composite beams have enabled modular industrial tooling system producers, such as Bilsing Automation, to replace much heavier steel and aluminium beams, providing significant in-service production, productivity and cost saving benefits including: faster operating speeds; less vibration so more rapid damping; heavier load handling capabilities on the same line; lower energy consumption and lifetime operating costs.
Both standard tubes and square beams are available in quantities from one-off to multiple batch orders. On request, CompoTech will produce additional round and square beam sizes as part of its bespoke design and manufacturing service to meet specific customer requirements. Catalogues of the standard CF square beams and round tubes can be downloaded from the CompoTech website.
CompoTech’s production, design engineering and R & D facilities are located in Sušice in the southwest of the Czech Republic. The company has over 25 years of experience designing, manufacturing and supplying a wide variety of lightweight, vibration-damped, carbon fibre epoxy composite cylindrical and rectangular composite components for automated lines and industrial machines systems.